Locke Lamora Read-Along: WEEK 2

Since this week’s questions are on the first-timer side of things I’m choosing to ignore them (well, not completely, but for the most part) and just chat about random things that I thought of while reading. I also recall some of the reactions from my first read.

“Second touch this afternoon was easy. But we wouldn’t have gotten so far, so fast, if not for Bug’s quick action yesterday. What a stupid, reckless, idiotic, ridiculous damn thing to do! I haven’t the words to express my admiration.”

The beginning of this week’s section contains my perhaps favourite bit in this whole 500+ -page affair: the “Toast Scene”. It is simply so marvellous. We see the fun side of the Bastards, as well as get a glimpse of their dark side, just so show us they are not always merry and bright. And these every-day moments are also the thing I like best in the book: the way they joke around, tease each other, do things like changing appearances with such detail yet confident casualty – and the immense warmth that they share. If they ever make a movie of this book (which I half hope they would not, because there is a great chance they’d completely ruin it) this scene should absolutely be included. In the DVD extras if nowhere else.


Question two was about the description of liquors. Now, I’m Finnish, and if there is something Finland is usually connected with, it’s liquor. Although I’m not a heavy drinker myself, I enjoy my drinks. It follows that I also like to hear about new drinks – the stranger the better – and I love it that this book offers me that as well as all the other entertainment. As I was reading a couple of days ago, I came to the decision I would prefer Camorri beer over Verrari. But then again, were both offered, I’d like to get a taste of both. And if I could get a cask of Austershalin, well…

“If your father says ‘Bark like a dog,’ I say ‘What breed, your honour?'”

Nazca Barsavi is the kind of woman I’d like to be friends with. She’s sharp and cautious, just as Locke says, and has a lot of style. She and Locke are too good friends to get married, I think, but she would make a splendid Gentleman Bastard were her father not who he is. First time reading Capa Barsavi give Locke permission to court Nazca I grinned like a maniac and probably said out loud, “Oh, you’re in trouble now!” It’s hilarious to see Locke’s reaction. I think he’s brain was very busy at that moment trying to figure out how to get out of the mess, the little oh shit oh shit oh shit oh shit that we all hear when we’re screwed doing little to help him think.

Just a detail I picked up, and nothing very significant – but Chains called Barsavi “Ven” when he was introducing Locke. It makes sense, them being old friends, but Barsavi addresses him as “Chains”. I’m wondering whether it is a nickname from far back, whether Chains adopted the name after coming to Camorr and it was catchy enough to stick, or whether it is actually at least part of his real name? I find “Ven” more informal than “Chains”, but as I said, knowing what we know there is really no guessing.

To return to the idea of Locke Lamora the Movie, there is another thing besides the “Toast Scene” I would love to see: the hand signs. I’m so very enamoured by them. In the group of Bastards they must be so subtle, since they know each other so well that they can catch even the barest hint. And what a wonderful communication system! I used to play a card game with some friends, where the players were sitting opposite to their pair and communicating their cards through predetermined signs. They didn’t need to be hand signs, but those were popular – and it was sometimes hard to spot them, particularly when you had to be discreet about them so the other pairs would not learn what your sign was. It was great fun, although I was not very good at it.

The Midnighters! I almost panicked the first time the two turn up in Salvara’s study and give the game away. The relief when the secret behind this is revealed… It was great. It was awesome. And the preparations for this are so much fun to follow. The aftermath of the scene, and now the end of this post, gets a giggle out of me every time:

“By the Crooked Warden, I never heard such self-pity dripping from the mouth of a wealthy man! Cheer up! Richer and cleverer than everyone else, right?”

“Richer and cleverer and walking very funny, yes.”



Filed under Read-Along

18 responses to “Locke Lamora Read-Along: WEEK 2

  1. Pingback: Lies of Locke Lamora read-along, week two! « the Little Red Reviewer

  2. Remind me never to play cards with you! LOL
    At least if a movie is made of the LoLL we will know what the setting is going to be!
    I never noticed Chains calling the Capa Ven. I thought Chains was called so because he ‘supposedly’ chains himself outside the temple (in fact he is supposed to remain chained all the time).
    I could never imagine Nazca and Locke romantically entangled – his reaction at being given permission to court Nazca is really funny and just goes to demonstrate that he clearly never thought of her in that light either.
    Lynn 😀

  3. Pingback: The Lies of Locke Lamora Read Along Part II « Darkcargo

  4. Ha! Good point about the hand signals, I was wondering about those and would love to see them in action. 🙂
    I also panicked a bit when the Midnighters appeared, I admit. 🙂

    • Me too. I had thought that Locke was definitely in for it, and hoped he’d find a way out. I didn’t imagine that the Midnighter was Locke.

      • I think my favourite bit was the flashback to the fight scene with Conte beforehand! Poor Locke, pulling off a major con and in severe pain the whole time.

        I actually suspected it was Locke immediately, but then dismissed the idea when the ‘Midnighters’ showed the Don their badge. I don’t know what made me think that a forged badge was beyond the Gentlemen Bastards! 🙂

  5. scruffymorris

    The toast scene was great. Little moments like that go a long way towards making us understand and care about the characters.

  6. nrlymrtl

    I always enjoy it when an author throws in some secret had signs or battle language (like Dune by Frank Herbert and David Eddings Belgarid series). Why not? Need some way to communicate info without those outside of the circle knowing what your ‘saying’.

  7. I actually read ahead and finished the book because I didn’t want to be spoilered, and yes, the toast scene pretty much stands out as my favourite too. Like you say, it’s the warmth of the friendships 🙂

    Here’s an interesting liquor for you, too: apricot and honey vodka. My housemate found a bottle at a local food fair last year and it’s fantastic stuff. Might be easy enough to make some at home…

    • I don’t much care for honey, but that does sound really nice! 😀 Should probably start experimenting…

      • You can hardly taste the honey in the version we have, it’s mostly just tart apricots and vodka kick with this very slight perfumey touch that must be the honey lurking about.

        A friend of mine once tried out making flavoured vodka with chocolate mints – he replaced about half the bottle with melted-down chocolates, and found when he finished it that he’d overdone it and there was a solid lump of chocolate left in the bottle. Solution? The other half of the vodka! 😀

      • Chocolate mint vodka sounds… very interesting. o_O And very sweet, maybe too sweet?

      • I couldn’t actually try it because there was something in the chocolate I’m allergic to, but people found it very moreish by all reports. I guess the mint and the vodka cut through the sugar enough (and they were dark choc mints, for what it’s worth – do you have After Eights in Finland?)

      • Oh yesh, we do have After Eights! Those have more of the mint filling than the chocolate, so I can see how it could cut through the sweetness. This sounds like something that should be tried around Christmas! 😛

  8. I get the feeling Chains and Barsavi know each other from way back when. Chains very quickly says somewhere that he got “special consideration” (or something) and Barsavi got the whole city. Maybe that’s why Chains is so interested in training up the Gentlemen Bastards to destroy the secret peace?

    and you have got to teach me how to play cards! maybe I won’t suck at Euchre as much anymore!

  9. A fellow Finnish, ihana! Finland is connected to liquor, but mostly bad ones 😉
    I’m pretty worried about the movie prospect, I kind of hope they would not do it because there are so many chances they will screw it up, it would depress me. But what if it was a great movie that would became cult? Anyway, I also love the hand signs, I wish I would have built something like that when I was a kid. Now is a bit too late, but it’s definitely a great part (among many others) of this book.

    • I can’t believe this! 😀 It’s so hard to find people in Finland who like Scott Lynch I was starting to think there were none! And I see from your blog that we share a city, too! The world is so so so small…
      That’s the thing that worries me perhaps most about the possible movie – it could be a total catastrophy, but it could also be the coolest movie ever and get the books more attention.
      Maybe hand signs could be hinted at around little children and see if they’d take to the idea? I’d like to see school yards full of kids trying to communicate with their hands only. 😛

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